I was going to talk about this in my other thread, but decided this is better for another thread. I said this: "and lets not mince words - we're talking about ETUFOs. Flying saucers. Alien spacecraft" and Ivan responded with: I'm not demanding anything: I'm talking about the point of the investigation: what are they looking for? Are they looking for aliens, looking to find new natural phenoma to explain? What? My point with my quote was that people who investigate UFOs, like people who run SETI, are looking for one thing: Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. That is the stated goal of SETI (its in the name), and it is my belief/opinion/judgement that that is the goal - stated or unstated - of "UFOology." Ivan, you've stated that the crackpots give real/reputable investigators a bad name, and I'd tend to agree, but I also think that investigators are afraid to come clean for fear of being labeled. That may seem reasonable, but consider this: it doesn't hurt SETI to have it in the name. That said, Stanton Friedman, who is apparently a prominent "UFOologist" (HERE is his site, linked from the other thread), calls his work "SETV" - the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Visitors. No doubt an homage to SETI, but in any case, I like the fact that he's willing to be blunt about his purpose. It is perfectly scientific to start with a hypothesis such as 'some UFO sightings are alien spacecraft' and then search for evidence to support that. Is anyone approaching the search this way? Project Blue Book, perhaps the most widely known open-ended investigation, had 3 goals: http://www.cyber-north.com/ufo/ Now, this is an open-ended investigation that allowed for all possibilities, but clearly, the one that the study was most concerned with was ET (that is, of course, natural for the Air Force). The project was closed (lets leave the conspiracy theory out of this if we can, please), because it failed to turn up any useful technology or any evidence of a threat after many years of investigation. AFAIK, no one has ever launched a project-blue-book-style investigation looking for new natural phenomena. Perhaps someone can verify that. I guess how you could do that is to start grouping the events according to similar characteristics and looking for natural explanations. Has anyone done that? So, I guess my questions in this thread are: -What, precisely is UFOology? Is it more than just SETV? -Is there a coherent methodology at work in UFOology? Clear goals? Clear mission statements? Clear hypotheses? -Has it produced anything that an average scientist would consider compelling? -Has it ever explained previously unknown natural phenomena? Is anyone really looking? -And most importantly, are those who call themselves "UFOologists" really open to the possibility that no UFOs are alien spacecraft? If so, what are the critereon under which they would accept that conclusion as likely?